BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

Nuclear fuels

Thorium-Uran Würfel

Nuclear energy is declining further in importance in Germany. The proportion of nuclear power in the German energy mix has been in decline since the decision reached by the German government to completely withdraw from power generation in German nuclear power plants by 2022. Nine of the 17 nuclear power plants in Germany have been shut down since the amendment to the Atomic Energy Act in 2011. The share of nuclear power in gross power generation was 13 % in 2016.

There continues to be a growing interest world-wide in using nuclear fuels for energy applications. Whilst the demand for uranium in Europe and North America will probably decline in future because a large number of reactors will reach the end of their operating lives by 2030, the demand for uranium is expected to increase in the emerging economies and developing countries in the Asia and Middle East regions. 61 nuclear power plants were under construction in 15 countries at the end of 2016. 21 of these were in China alone. Another 125 nuclear power plants are currently in the planning or approval phase. 448 nuclear power plants are currently in operation world-wide. From a geological point of view, no shortage in supplies of nuclear fuels is expected in the long term because of the very extensive global reserves of uranium.

Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia account for a share of over 70 % of global production, and are the largest uranium producing countries in the world.

BGR's activities include advising the German government and representing Germany on international committees with respect to the geological availability of nuclear fuels, as well as the remediation of contaminated mining sites.

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